Science for Babies!

Posted December 8, 2016 by cathyso3
Categories: Board Books

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Who knew learning about science could be so much fun. Ruth Spiro, the author of Lester Fizz, Bubble-Gum Artist, has written two board books for the youngest generation dealing with science – Baby Loves Quarks! and Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!

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You may think that’s a mouthful of words for a baby, but these books, illustrated by Irene Chan, are something to get excited about. In each book, Spiro and Chan present a science concept in a unique way so that a young child can begin to understand it on the simplest level. Open the doors to science with these fun books and explore the possibilities. With straightforward text and colorful illustrations, these books may be the stepping stones for our future scientists!

 

 

DU IZ TAK?

Posted December 1, 2016 by cathyso3
Categories: Picture Books

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If you have very young children, you know they have a language of their own – uhda, madee, ticka …  They know what they’re saying, but it’s up to us to figure it out. And that brings me to a picture book that fascinates me. When I first heard about this book, I was convinced it was written in a foreign language. When I finally got my hands on it, I was in for a big surprise!

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Du Iz Tak? is written and illustrated by Carson Ellis. The text is sparse, using “invented” words. With that in mind, Carson Ellis has masterfully crafted a fanciful story filled with creativity and imagination. Two damselflies discover a shoot growing out of the ground. Other insects investigate the growth. After some interesting discussion and the help of Icky the bug, they build a tree house in the growing shoot. Drama comes into play with the addition of a huge spider, a hungry, bird, and a blossoming flower. While all of this is taking place, a caterpillar has made its cocoon. At night, a violin-playing insect sits above the cocoon and plays to the night sky. This oversized picture book is one that needs time to absorb. Ellis’ illustrations are filled with the beauty and wonder of nature and what can happen when imagination blossoms. This circular story has a very satisfying ending and lends itself to close examination and discussion.

Another picture book with invented words and fun to read is Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis. See my comments here.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted November 24, 2016 by cathyso3
Categories: Holidays

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photo-2-43“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” Maya Angelou, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

On the Watch 24/7

Posted November 17, 2016 by cathyso3
Categories: Life and Family

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Today I have no books recommendations to offer. I’m too busy trying to keep up with the youngest generation. Babysitting twins is a full-time job. This my husband and I can attest to. Our two precious little girls are Energizer bunnies. They keep going and going and going. We are into our fifth day of taking care of them. We have two days left. Our batteries are running out of power.

Their paraphernalia has taken over our house.

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They’ve taken over the dog’s bed.

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Caught! Mischief makers trying to kiss the dog.

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A good dose of fresh air is an excellent remedy for a good night’s sleep.

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Keeping them on the move by collecting leaves.

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The girls are adorable and mischievous. They keep us on our toes. We’ve fed them, bathed them, read to them, sang to them, and changed their diapers. Life with them has been a true joy, but I must admit, my husband and I will be thrilled when our son-in-law and daughter return from their vacation. We’ll need one after this week of babysitting!

 

 

 

 

In Memory of One Special Veteran and a Tribute to Others

Posted November 10, 2016 by cathyso3
Categories: Special Days

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My dad was a member of what some people refer to as the Greatest Generation – those men and women who fought in World War II. He was a true patriot and a gentleman. He passed away five years ago, and I miss his quirky humor and wisdom every single day.

Tomorrow, on 11-11-16, we celebrate Veterans Day. I have posted this piece before, but I am posting it again with added information to honor my dad and all the men and women who have served in the military and those who continue to do so. We also remember those who bravely fought and sacrificed their lives to keep our country safe.

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My dad served in the Army Air Corps as First Lieutenant, navigating B-29 bombers and was a member of the 505thBombardment Group based on Tinian Island. He was there during the time Tinian Island served as the base for the Enola Gay, the B-29 aircraft that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

When we were growing up, he rarely talked about his service. I had the feeling he wanted to distance himself from those years. After my mother died, he began telling the family about his time served in the Army Air Corps. He especially wanted the grandkids to know the history of that period. Here are some of his experiences and memories.

My dad flew bombing missions and searched for survivors after B-29 bombers were shot down. He mined Tokyo Bay and Shimonoseki Strait. After the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, this is what my dad remembers hearing from a crew member of the Enola Gay:  “We dropped something. There was a big cloud. We got out of there!”

My dad’s last mission of the war was to blow up railroad yards. The first people to go home from the Islands were the mechanics. Those who were left behind had to maintain their own planes. My dad’s plane had to land in Hawaii to refuel. Good thing because it ran out of fuel on the runway!

After my dad passed away, we cleared out his house. We found a treasure trove of items from his military days inside his army trunk. Like my mother, he kept EVERYTHING! Those remaining members of the 484th Squadron might recognize some of the pictures I’ve included below.

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Navigation School Graduation Booklet

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Bracelet and Physical Record Card

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Love Letters Written to my Mother

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484th Squadron

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Radar Plotting Chart

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Realities of War

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War is nasty. We are fortunate to have men and women who are willing to protect our country from those who would destroy the freedom we enjoy. Remember to honor and thank all of our veterans today and every day!

If you know of anyone who served in World War II and is still alive, talk to them and write down their stories to preserve for future generations. The Veterans History Project is an excellent way to learn more about our veterans.

Here’s a great picture book to help young readers learn about America’s Armed Forces:  H is for Honor:  A Military Family Alphabet written by Devin Scillian and illustrated by Victor Juhasz (Sleeping Bear Press, 2011)

Books to Savor

Posted November 3, 2016 by cathyso3
Categories: Picture Books

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My two little cuties love books. So when I find a great picture book I think they will like, I stash them in a secret place.

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When the time is right, I pull one out for all of us to enjoy. Here are two I’m waiting to share with them.

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Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo written by Ammi-Joan Paquette and illustrated by Joy Ang

Petey and Pru are friends, but sometimes they don’t always agree on how to spend time together. The day Petey wanted quiet, Pru was feeling tricksy. That caused mayhem and a hullabaloo. Did that ruin their friendship? Of course not because they both know friendship is something to cherish – at least until the next time Pru is feeling tricksy.

Why I like this book:  The vocabulary is a mouthful of merriment! Who wouldn’t want to use words like kerfuffle, cacophony, and hornswoggled? The illustrations are eye-catching, vibrant, and filled with fanciful fun!

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Amos McGee works at the zoo. He’s a very busy man, but he always makes time for his animal friends. One day, Amos wakes with chills and aches. When he doesn’t come to work, the animals worry about him. Later that day, the animals get on the bus and travel to Amos McGee’s house where each of the animals has a special way to take care of him.

Why I like this book:  This is a quiet book. It delivers a message of repaying kindness with kindness. The illustrations done in muted colors add to the calm and charm of the story. See how many times you can spot the red balloon in this Caldecott Medal book.

 

Give Your House Soul

Posted October 27, 2016 by cathyso3
Categories: Libraries

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A quote credited to Plato says, “A house that has a library in it has a soul.” Give your house a soul and build a home library.

When children open a book, they open a door to new places, new ideas, and new adventures.

 

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Be a role model and let your children see you reading. Share lap time and read to them.

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With a home library, you can create an atmosphere of learning and cultivate the love of books. If buying books too expensive, visit your neighborhood library. Make a special go-to place in your home for those library books, and keep it overflowing with a variety of genres.

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The Traditional Library

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The Bedroom Library

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The Basket Library

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The Canvas Bag Library

Jump-start your child’s learning potential with books. Speech, communication, thinking skills, vocabulary, and hours of delight are all benefits to be reaped from reading books!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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